(CNSNews.com) - The U.S. merchandise trade deficit with the People’s Republic of China set a record for the month of January, hitting $35,952,800,000, according to data released today by the Census Bureau.
That was up 12.5 percent from the previous record, which was the $31,952,560,000 merchandise trade deficit (in constant January 2018 dollars) that the U.S. ran with the PRC in January 2017.
The last time the United States ran a merchandise trade surplus with China in the month of January was 1985, when the U.S. ran a $26,100,000 surplus.
In calendar year 2017, the United States ran a $375,227,500,000 merchandise trade deficit with the People’s Republic of China. That was by far the largest bilateral merchandise trade deficit the U.S. ran with any country for that year.
The second largest U.S. merchandise trade deficit in 2017 was the $71,056,500,000 deficit with Mexico. China’s one-month deficit of $35,952,800,000 in January equaled more than 50 percent (50.59 percent) of last year’s entire deficit with Mexico.
The third largest bilateral merchandise trade deficit that the U.S. ran last year was with Japan ($68,847,700,000), the fourth largest was with Germany ($64,252,000,000) and the fifth largest was with Vietnam ($38,320,000,000.)
Two of the largest bilateral trade deficits the U.S. ran last year—those with China and Vietnam—were with countries that have communist governments.
The United Kingdom was the seventh largest merchandise trading partner of the United States in 2017 when measured by the total value of both imports and exports. It was also the largest trading partner with which the U.S. ran a merchandise trade surplus in 2017.
The U.S. exported $56,328,800,000 to the U.K. during the year and imported $53,074,900,000—running an annual surplus of $3,253,900,000.
In January, the United States exported $4,779,900,000 to the U.K. and imported $4,549,000,000—running a monthly surplus of $230,900,000.
By contrast, the United States exported $130,369,500,000 in merchandise to the People’s Republic of China in 2017 and imported $505,597,100,000, resulting in the $375,227,500,000 deficit.
In January, the United States exported $9,835,300,000 in merchandise to China and imported $45,788,000,000, resulting in the $35,952,800,000 monthly deficit.
According to the CIA World Factbook, China had a population of 1,379,302,771 as of July 2017. That means that during 2017, the $130,369,500,000 in U.S. merchandise that the Chinese bought equaled about $94.52 per capita.
The United Kingdom by contrast had a population of 64,769,452 as of July 2017, according to the CIA. That means that the $56,328,800,000 in U.S. merchandise that the British bought during 2017 equaled about $869.68 per capita.
The $869.68 per capita in U.S. goods the U.K. bought in 2017 was $775.16 (or about 820 percent) more than the $94.52 per capita that the Chinese bought.
The Gross Domestic Product of the People’s Republic of China was about $23,120,000,000,000 in 2017, according to the CIA. That means the $130,369,500,000 in U.S. goods that China bought during the year equaled about 0.56 percent of China’s GDP.
The Gross Domestic Product of the United Kingdom was about $2,880,000,000,000 in 2017, according to the CIA. That means the that the $56,328,800,000 in U.S. merchandise that the British bought during 2017 equaled about 1.96 percent of GDP.